The Higher National Diploma (HND) programme in Dispensing Technology is a build-up on the earlier Dispensing Technician (DT) Certificate programme run by the Department. The DT Certificate programme was established in 1975, and with the upgrade of the Polytechnics in 1992 by PNDC Law 321, the HND programme in Dispensing Technology was introduced to enhance the capacity of graduates from the Department in terms of performance. The aim was to meet the demands of pharmaceutical industries (hospitals, community pharmacies, etc.) by enabling graduates to handle minor repair works on the equipment and machines they handle, as well as to help them to carry out basic quality control procedures.
Graduates from the Department are employed by the Ministry of Health as Pharmacy Technicians and regulated by the Pharmacy Council by the same name.
- Components of the Programme
Students are taken through courses such as dispensing of medicines; prescription reading and identification of prescription errors; hospital and community pharmacy practice; pharmaceutical microbiology; analytical, organic and medicinal chemistry; basic pharmacognosy; physiology; pharmacology and therapeutics; basic first aid; basic management and store-keeping. In addition to these core courses, students take mandatory ones such as communication skills; computer literacy; African studies; statistics; entrepreneurship. In the final year, students are assigned to supervisors take a project work.
- Delivery of Courses
Face-to-face teaching/learning approach is mainly employed to train the students. Occasionally online teaching/learning (especially with the theoretical background of the practical skills) may be used. Students are made to do presentations, and take quizzes from time to time.
The courses are delivered by facilitators/lecturers with the requisite academic and industrial experience.
- Duration of Programme and Admission Requirements
Duration of the programme is three (3) years, and an applicant must satisfy the following minimum entry requirements to gain admission:
- SSSCE Candidates: Credit passes (A1-C6) in six subjects comprising three (3) core subjects (English Language, Integrated Science and Mathematics) and three elective science subjects including Chemistry and Biology.
- WASSCE Candidates: Passes (A – D) in six (6) subjects comprising three (3) core subjects (English Language, Integrated Science and Mathematics) and three (3) electives in pure science subjects including Chemistry and Biology.
- Mature students must be at least 25 years old, and must have worked in a hospital/laboratory/pharmaceutical/chemical industry for at least three (3) years. They must show evidence of work experience. In addition, they must have “O” Level or SSSCE/WASSCE pure Science background (with at least E8 or E in Chemistry, Biology and Physics or Elective Mathematics).
Applicants may be called for an interview and or entrance examination.
- Foreign Students: Certificates of foreign students with an equivalent of the above qualifications will be referred to the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) to determine their eligibility and placement.
- Dispensing Technician Part III Certificate: Applicants must have obtained a minimum of an overall credit in Dispensing Technician Part III Examination, with at least a Credit in Chemistry. Applicants without Credit passes must write and pass an examination for a six-week course organized by the Department. Applicants in this will join the programme in Year Three (i.e. HND III).
Graduates will be well-equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to work in all
Upon completion of the HND programme the Technicians will be working (in collaboration with or under the supervision of:
- A registered Pharmacist in a hospital, community Pharmacies or in the pharmaceutical industry,
- Qualified Chemist or Biochemist in any quality control laboratory as well as regulatory agencies like Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Standards Authority
- National Health Insurance Authority as Claim Officers
- Individuals can also set up their own pharmacy-related businesses.
- Study Environment
The University provides a congenial atmosphere for students to go about their studies. There is a well-resourced library that provides E-Learning resources to students; University Clinic that provides health services; hostels in and around the University campus; Guidance and Counselling Unit that offer advice and relevant information to students; Sports Unit with Gymnasium, Tennis and Volley Ball Courts.
The Department also offers Academic Tutorship where students are assigned to individual lecturers who would assist students with difficulties especially on their academic work.